The State of North Carolina has a group of protected areas known as the North Carolina State Park System, which is managed by the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation (NCDPR), an agency of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR). Units of the system can only be established by an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina. The park system began in 1916 when the summit of Mount Mitchell became first state park in the Southeastern United States. According to the Division of Parks & Recreation, "the State Parks Act of 1987 lists six types of units included in the NC State Parks System." These are State Parks, State Recreation Areas, State Natural Areas, State Lakes, State Trails, and State Rivers. All units of the system are owned and/or managed by the division, and the division leases some of the units to other agencies for operation. Most units of the park system are also components of State Nature and Historic Preserve.
State Parks are the principle unit of the state park system. The NC Division of Parks & Recreation describes its parks as follows:
Generally, State Parks are expected to possess both significant natural resource values and significant recreational values. State Parks are expected to accommodate the development of facilities, but may vary in the extent of development depending upon what can be provided without damage to the scenic or natural features. Facilities are planned and constructed to keep disturbance of natural resources to a minimum and to leave a "liberal portion" of each park undisturbed and free from improvements and structures, except for trails.
Several of the State Parks are new and are still being planned and developed. A few of the older state parks were greatly expanded in size in the 2000s adding trails and bike paths open to the public.
|Region||County or Counties||Size||Year Established||Status||Remarks|
|Carolina Beach State Park||||Coast||New Hanover||761 acres (3.08 km2)||1969||Open||Named not for a beach, rather the Town of Carolina Beach, the park is located along the banks of the Cape Fear River and Snow's Cut (part of the Intracoastal Waterway). The park is best known for its variety of wild carnivorous plants, including the Venus Flytrap.|
|Carvers Creek State Park||||Coastal Plain||Cumberland||4,530 acres (18.3 km2)||2005||Open||Under development;|
Interim facilities are open at the park's historic Long Valley Farm Access.
|Chimney Rock State Park||||Mountains||Rutherford, Polk, Buncombe, Henderson||8,014 acres (32.43 km2)||2005||Open||Under development;|
The park protects the landscape of Hickory Nut Gorge, including its most well known feature, Chimney Rock.
|Cliffs of the Neuse State Park||||Coastal Plain||Wayne||1,097 acres (4.44 km2)||1945||Open||The park protects ancient cliff faces located along the banks of the Neuse River.|
|Crowders Mountain State Park||||Piedmont||Gaston||5,217 acres (21.11 km2)||1973||Open||The park protects the Kings Mountain Ridgeline in North Carolina, including its highest peaks Crowder's Mountain and King's Pinnacle. The park is also adjacent to Kings Mountain State Park in South Carolina, which in turn is adjacent to Kings Mountain National Military Park. All three parks are connected via the Kings Mountain Ridgeline Trail.|
|Dismal Swamp State Park||||Coastal Plain||Camden||14,432 acres (58.40 km2)||1974||Open||Under development;|
The park protects large part of the Great Dismal Swamp, and it is adjacent to Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. It is bounded on the east by the Dismal Swamp Canal.
|Elk Knob State Park||||Mountains||Watauga, Ashe||4,423 acres (17.90 km2)||2002||Open||Under development;|
The park preserves some of the highest peaks in Ashe and Watauga Counties, and it protects headwaters of the North Fork New River.
|Eno River State Park||||Piedmont||Durham, Orange||4,319 acres (17.48 km2)||1973||Open||The park protects the banks of the Eno River and surrounding lands.|
|Fort Macon State Park||||Coast||Carteret||424 acres (1.72 km2)||1924||Open||The first North Carolina State Park to open to the public. It protects the historic Fort Macon and the eastern end of Bogue Banks.|
|Goose Creek State Park||||Coastal Plain||Beaufort||1,672 acres (6.77 km2)||1974||Open||The park protects part of the landscape along the Pamlico Sound.|
|Gorges State Park||||Mountains||Transylvania||7,709 acres (31.20 km2)||1999||Open||Under development;|
North Carolina's westernmost state park; it is located along the steep Blue Ridge Escarpment. The park is best known for the many waterfalls it provides access to, both inside the park and on adjacent public lands.
|Grandfather Mountain State Park||||Mountains||Avery, Watauga, Caldwell||3,647 acres (14.76 km2)||2009||Open||Under development;|
Adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the park protects the highest peak located along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The park consists of lands formerly known as the "backcountry area" when it was privately owned nature preserve.
|Hammocks Beach State Park||||Coast||Onslow||1,611 acres (6.52 km2)||1961||Open||While protecting a variety of maritime habitats, the park is most known for its four-mile (6.4 km) long barrier island, Bear Island. The park operates a passenger ferry service between the mainland and island in the warmer months.|
|Hanging Rock State Park||||Piedmont||Stokes||9,011 acres (36.47 km2)||1935||Open||The park encompasses the eastern end of the Sauratown Mountain range, including a geologic feature known as Hanging Rock. It also protects a segment of the Dan River.|
|Haw River State Park||||Piedmont||Rockingham, Guilford||1,485 acres (6.01 km2)||2003||Open||Under development;|
This park preserves large wetlands along the Haw River.
|Jockey's Ridge State Park||||Coast||Dare||427 acres (1.73 km2)||1975||Open||The park protects the tallest sand dune system on the East Coast of the United States.|
|Jones Lake State Park||||Coastal Plain||Bladen||1,669 acres (6.75 km2)||1939||Open||The park surrounds Jones State Lake and Salters State Lake, both of which are largely undeveloped Carolina Bay lakes.|
|Lake James State Park||||Mountains||McDowell, Burke||3,743 acres (15.15 km2)||1987||Open||Under redevelopment;|
Located near the base of Linville Gorge, the park encompasses large parts of the Lake James shoreline. In 2004, the park nearly octupled in size after a land deal with Crescent Resources.
|Lake Norman State Park||||Piedmont||Iredell||1,942 acres (7.86 km2)||1962||Open||Formerly known as Duke Power State Park, most of this park consists of lands donated by Duke Power along the shores of Lake Norman, the largest manmade body of fresh water in North Carolina.|
|Lake Waccamaw State Park||||Coastal Plain||Columbus||2,398 acres (9.70 km2)||1976||Open||This park is along the shoreline of Lake Waccamaw, the largest natural Carolina Bay lake.|
|Lumber River State Park||||Coastal Plain||Scotland, Hoke, Robeson, Columbus||13,695 acres (55.42 km2)||1989||Open||The State Park with the greatest geographic expanse, it preserves the banks of the black water Lumber River, which is Wild and Scenic River and a State River.|
|Mayo River State Park||||Piedmont||Rockingham||2,778 acres (11.24 km2)||2003||Open||Under development;|
This new, still growing park is located along the Mayo River.
|Medoc Mountain State Park||||Piedmont||Halifax||3,893 acres (15.75 km2)||1973||Open||At 325 foot (99 m), Medoc Mountain isn't a true mountain but rather the remnant of a former mountain range which eroded long ago. The park preserves the land around the Medoc, as well as the banks of nearby Little Fishing Creek.|
|Merchants Millpond State Park||||Coastal Plain||Gates||3,520 acres (14.2 km2)||1973||Open||The park protects a unique, cypress filled millpond and the Lassiter Swamp.|
|Morrow Mountain State Park||||Piedmont||Stanly||5,702 acres (23.08 km2)||1935||Open||At 936 foot (285 m), Morrow Mountain is the fourth tallest peak of the Uwharrie Mountains, and the park encompasses several peaks of the range, just west of the Yadkin / Pee Dee River.|
|Mount Mitchell State Park||||Mountains||Yancey||4,789 acres (19.38 km2)||1916||Open||The first North Carolina State Park, it protects the summit of Mount Mitchell the highest point in the eastern United States.|
|New River State Park||||Mountains||Alleghany, Ashe||3,323 acres (13.45 km2)||1975||Open||This park preserves the landscape along the New River, which is Wild and Scenic River and a State River.|
|Pettigrew State Park||||Coastal Plain||Tyrrell, Washington||5,951 acres (24.08 km2)||1936||Open||The park protects the banks of Lake Phelps, the state's second largest natural lake, and the Scuppernong River.|
|Pilot Mountain State Park||||Piedmont||Surry, Yadkin||3,872 acres (15.67 km2)||1968||Open||The park encompasses the western end of the Sauratown Mountain range, including Pilot Mountain, as well as an island filled segment of the Yadkin River.|
|Pisgah View State Park||—||Mountains||Buncombe, Haywood||205 acres (0.83 km2)||2019||Closed||Planned State Park on the property of Pisgah View Ranch, near Mount Pisgah and Pisgah National Forest.|
|Raven Rock State Park||||Piedmont||Harnett||4,810 acres (19.5 km2)||1970||Open||Located along both banks of the Cape Fear River, the park encompasses a rock outcropping where the river crosses the Fall Line.|
|Singletary Lake State Park||||Coastal Plain||Bladen||649 acres (2.63 km2)||1939||Limited||The park surrounds Singletary Lake, which is a State Lake and a Carolina Bay lake. The park's facilities are usually reserved for registered group campers, but limited day use may be allowed while the camps are unoccupied.|
|South Mountains State Park||||Mountains||Burke||20,949 acres (84.78 km2)||1978||Open||Under redevelopment;|
The largest unit of the state park system, it encompasses a large part of the South Mountains range, which is a branch of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
|Stone Mountain State Park||||Mountains||Alleghany, Wilkes||14,353 acres (58.08 km2)||1969||Open||Adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, this large park's centerpiece is a granite dome named Stone Mountain.|
|William B. Umstead State Park||||Piedmont||Wake||5,599 acres (22.66 km2)||1945||Open||This large, forested park is in the heart of the Research Triangle.|
State Recreation Areas are more intensely developed units than State Parks, and they largely encompass lands less sensitive to human activities than State Parks. According to the NC Division of Parks & Recreation:
State Recreation Areas are sites where the primary purpose is outdoor recreation, rather than preservation. More intensive development of facilities is provided than in State Parks. Protection and enjoyment of the natural resources are still important, and the sites are expected to contain scenic and attractive natural features. Development is planned and constructed to keep a "reasonable amount" of each area undisturbed and free from improvements and structures.
|State Recreation Area||Web-
|Falls Lake State Recreation Area||||Piedmont||Wake, Durham||5,035 acres (20.38 km2)||1982||Open||This recreation area is located along the shores of Falls Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built reservoir.|
|Fort Fisher State Recreation Area||||Coast||New Hanover||287 acres (1.16 km2)||1986||Open||This recreation area is known for its long, sandy beach between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. This is the only unit of the park system that allows four-wheel drive vehicles off road.|
|Jordan Lake State Recreation Area||||Piedmont||Chatham||4,558 acres (18.45 km2)||1981||Open||This recreation area is located along the shores of Jordan Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built reservoir.|
|Kerr Lake State Recreation Area||||Piedmont||Vance, Warren||3,376 acres (13.66 km2)||1952||Open||This recreation area is located along the North Carolinian shores of Kerr Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built reservoir, which is along the border of North Carolina and Virginia.|
State Natural Areas protect areas more sensitive to human activities than State Parks. Most of the State Natural Areas are undeveloped and have limited to no facilities, and some of them are closed to the general public to protect rare, fragile ecosystems. A few have developed facilities for low intensity, passive recreation, as well as facilities for public interpretation and education of the natural area. The NC Division of Parks & Recreation states:
The purpose of State Natural Areas is focused on preserving and protecting areas of scientific, aesthetic, or ecological value. Facilities are limited to those needed for interpretation, protection, and minimum maintenance. Generally, recreational and public use facilities such as camping, swimming, picnicking, and the like are not provided in State Natural Areas.
|State Natural Area||Web-
|Bakers Lake State Natural Area||—||Coastal Plain||Bladen||0 acres (0 km2)||2021||Undeveloped||Established to protect an undeveloped, 75-acre (0.30 km2) natural lake.|
|Baldhead Island State Natural Area||—||Coast||Brunswick||1,260 acres (5.1 km2)||1979||Undeveloped||Contiguous to Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, this undeveloped natural area preserves a large portion of the Smith Island Complex, which consists of barrier islands, salt marshes, bays, tidal creeks and estuarine islands.|
|Bay Tree State Natural Area||—||Coastal Plain||Bladen||609 acres (2.46 km2)||1979||Undeveloped||Former State Park which was never developed. It consists of lands adjacent to Bay Tree State Lake.|
|Bear Paw State Natural Area||—||Mountains||Avery||384 acres (1.55 km2)||2008||Undeveloped||The natural area is located just north of Grandfather Mountain State Park, and it protects Hanging Rock Ridge and the headwaters of Dutch Creek. The Cherokee name for the site is "Yonah‑wayah", which means "Bear's Paw". It is managed by Elk Knob State Park.|
|Beech Creek Bog State Natural Area||—||Mountains||Watauga||295 acres (1.19 km2)||2002||The natural area protects a southern Appalachian bog.|
|Bobs Creek State Natural Area||—||Mountains||McDowell||3,699 acres (14.97 km2)||2017||Closed||Historically known as Bob's Pocket Wilderness, the natural area conserves high quality, rare natural communities.|
|Bullhead Mountain State Natural Area||—||Mountains||Alleghany||442 acres (1.79 km2)||2000||Limited||This natural area is adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway and just north of Stone Mountain State Park.|
|Bushy Lake State Natural Area||—||Coastal Plain||Cumberland||6,396 acres (25.88 km2)||1977||Undeveloped||Managed by Jones Lake State Park, the natural area protects an area of wet pocosin and carolina bay forest.|
|Chowan Swamp State Natural Area||—||Coastal Plain||Gates||6,066 acres (24.55 km2)||1973||Open||Located along the northern shores of the Chowan River, this natural area is leased by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for management as part of the larger Chowan Swamp Game Land.|
|Hemlock Bluffs State Natural Area||||Piedmont||Wake||97 acres (0.39 km2)||1976||Open||The natural area is leased by the Town of Cary for operation as Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve.|
|Lea Island State Natural Area||—||Coast||Pender||25 acres (0.10 km2)||2000||Limited||The natural area preserves a largely undeveloped barrier island.|
|Lower Haw River State Natural Area||—||Piedmont||Chatham||1,025 acres (4.15 km2)||2003||Open||Under development;|
This natural area is adjacent to and managed by Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, and it has one 2-mile (3.2 km) hiking trail along the Haw River.
|Masonboro Island State Natural Area||||Coast||New Hanover||106 acres (0.43 km2)||1976||Undeveloped||Managed by the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, this natural area preserves an undeveloped barrier island, near Wilmington, North Carolina. The island is only accessible by boat.|
|Mitchells Millpond State Natural Area||—||Piedmont||Wake||93 acres (0.38 km2)||1976||Closed||The natural area protects granitic flatrock outcrops. The ecosystem of the flatrocks is unique and fragile.|
|Mount Jefferson State Natural Area||||Mountains||Ashe||1,188 acres (4.81 km2)||1956||Open||Formerly a State Park, this natural area is managed as a satellite of New River State Park, and it preserves the prominent peak of Mount Jefferson.|
|Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area||||Piedmont||Orange||221 acres (0.89 km2)||1997||Open||Managed as a satellite of Eno River State Park, this natural area preserves the highest point in Orange County.|
|Pineola Bog State Natural Area||—||Mountains||Avery||91 acres (0.37 km2)||2006||The natural area protects a southern Appalachian bog.|
|Run Hill State Natural Area||—||Coast||Dare||123 acres (0.50 km2)||1995||Undeveloped||Managed as a satellite of Jockey's Ridge State Park, the natural area preserves Run Hill, a large sand dune north of Jockey's Ridge.|
|Salmon Creek State Natural Area||—||Coastal Plain||Bertie||1,002 acres (4.05 km2)||2017||Closed||The natural area contains high-quality natural communities, and important archaeological sites.|
|Sandy Run Savannas State Natural Area||—||Coastal Plain||Pender, Onslow||3,133 acres (12.68 km2)||2006||Closed||The natural area preserves southern pine savannas.|
|Sugar Mountain Bog State Natural Area||—||Mountains||Avery||102 acres (0.41 km2)||2006||The natural area protects a southern Appalachian bog.|
|Theodore Roosevelt State Natural Area||||Coast||Carteret||265 acres (1.07 km2)||1971||Open||Jointly managed by Fort Macon State Park and the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, the natural area preserves Bogue Banks' only intact maritime forest.|
|Warwick Mill Bay State Natural Area||—||Coastal Plain||Robeson||976 acres (3.95 km2)||2017||Closed||The natural area protects an undisturbed Carolina Bay, which is an important nesting site for birds. Audubon North Carolina assists with the management of the property.|
|Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve||||Coastal Plain||Moore||915 acres (3.70 km2)||1963||Open||The first North Carolina State Natural Area, it preserves strands of longleaf pine forests in Sandhills region.|
|Yellow Mountain State Natural Area||—||Mountains||Mitchell, Avery||3,809 acres (15.41 km2)||2008||Limited||The natural area protects a Grassy Bald in the Roan Highlands range. The natural area is adjacent to the Pisgah National Forest.|
State Lakes are all large, naturally formed bodies of water in the state's Coastal Plain. Most of the lakes are Carolina Bays. The NC Division of Parks & Recreation describes its State Lakes as follows:
Chapter 165 of the Laws of 1929 specified that "all lakes now belonging to the State having an area of 50 acres or more" should be "administered as provided for other recreational areas now owned by the State." This allowed the then-Department of Conservation and Development to assume management authority for seven Coastal Plain lakes that became units of the State Parks System known as State Lakes. Most of these are administratively included as part of an adjoining State Park, but one of the lakes (White Lake) has no public ownership on its shoreline.
|State Lake||Adjoining State Park||Counties||Size||Remarks|
|Bay Tree State Lake||Bay Tree State Park||Bladen||1,418 acres (5.74 km2)||Bay Tree Lake was formerly known as Black Lake.|
|Jones State Lake||Jones Lake State Park||Bladen||224 acres (0.91 km2)||The shore line of Jones Lake is entirely owned by the state.|
|Phelps State Lake||Pettigrew State Park||Washington, Tyrrell||16,600 acres (67 km2)||Phelps is North Carolina's second largest natural lake.|
|Salters State Lake||Jones Lake State Park||Bladen||315 acres (1.27 km2)||Salters is the only State Lake without development along its shores.|
|Singletary State Lake||Singletary Lake State Park||Bladen||572 acres (2.31 km2)||The shore line of Singletary Lake is entirely owned by the state.|
|Waccamaw State Lake||Lake Waccamaw State Park||Columbus||8,938 acres (36.17 km2)||Lake Waccamaw is the largest natural Carolina Bay lake.|
|White State Lake||None||Bladen||1,068 acres (4.32 km2)||This is the only State Lake without public lands along its shores.|
State Trails are one of the principal components of the State Trail System. State Trails may be either long-distance, hiking trails or paddle trails. State Trails may have land components for providing a trail corridor or for protecting significant features or resources along the trail. Most of these lands are leased to other land management agencies. All of the State Trails are joint projects with other government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The following is the NC Division of Parks & Recreation description of State Trails:
The North Carolina Trails System Act was passed in 1973 to help provide for the state's outdoor recreation needs and to promote public access to natural and scenic areas. The act prescribed methods for establishing a statewide system of scenic trails, recreation trails, and connecting or side trails. The Trails System includes "park trails", which are designated and managed as units of the State Parks System known as State Trails, and "designated trails", which are managed by other governmental agencies or corporations.
|State Trail||Region||Designated Length||Size||Established||Remarks|
|Dan River State Trail||Piedmont||0 miles (0 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||2021||A paddle trail on the Dan River in Stokes and Rockingham Counties.|
|Deep River State Trail||Piedmont||0 miles (0 km)||1,274 acres (5.16 km2)||2007||Planned hiking and paddle trail along the Deep River.|
|East Coast Greenway State Trail||Coastal Plain||0 miles (0 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||2021||North Carolina's section of a developing bikeway spanning the East Coast of the United States.|
|Fonta Flora State Trail||Mountains||19 miles (31 km)||203 acres (0.82 km2)||2015||Planned hiking and bicycling trail that will encircle the eastern half of Lake James.|
|French Broad River State Trail||Mountains||117 miles (188 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||1987||A paddle trail extending from the beginning of the French Broad River in Rosman, to I-40 in Asheville.|
|Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail||Mountains||0 miles (0 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||2017||A trail planned to encircle Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure.|
|Mountains-to-Sea State Park Trail||State||669 miles (1,077 km)||778 acres (3.15 km2)||2000||The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) is a Long-distance, hiking trail, which runs across North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. Still a work in progress, the trail will be approximately a 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long when completed.|
|Northern Peaks State Trail||Mountains||0 miles (0 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||2019||A hiking trail planned to go over several mountain peaks from Rivers Park in Boone to Mount Jefferson State Natural Area.|
|Overmountain Victory State Trail||Mountains||49.5 miles (79.7 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||2019||The Overmountain Victory Trail roughly follows the historic route of the Overmountain Men on their march to the Battle of Kings Mountain.|
|Roanoke River State Trail||Coastal Plain||0 miles (0 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||2021||A paddle trail on the Roanoke River from Roanoke Rapids to the Albemarle Sound.|
|Wilderness Gateway State Trail||Mountains||0 miles (0 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||2019||Proposed trail to connect the Overmountain Victory Trail, South Mountains State Park, Valdese, and Hickory.|
|Yadkin River State Trail||Piedmont||130 miles (210 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||1987||This paddle trail is along a mostly free-flowing stretch of the Yadkin River between the W. Kerr Scott Dam and the beginning of High Rock Lake. There are only two small impoundments along the trail, and neither one creates a large reservoir.|
State Rivers are components of the state's Natural and Scenic Rivers System, which is the state's equivalent to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Most of the state's National Wild and Scenic Rivers, are also State Rivers and vice versa. The NC Division of Parks & Recreation states that:
The Natural and Scenic Rivers System was created by the 1971 General Assembly to preserve and protect certain free flowing rivers, their water quality and their adjacent lands for the benefit of present and future generations. The Natural and Scenic Rivers Act established criteria and methods for inclusion of components to the system. Components of the Natural and Scenic Rivers System are State Rivers, and are also units of the State Parks System.
|State River||Region||Designated Length||Size||Established||Remarks|
|Horsepasture State Natural River||Mountains||4.5 miles (7.2 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||1985||The river is located in the Pisgah National Forest, within a moderate 1.75 miles (2.82 km) hike of Gorges State Park, via the Rainbow Falls Trail.|
|Linville State Natural River||Mountains||13.0 miles (20.9 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||1975||The river is located in the middle of the Linville Gorge Wilderness.|
|Lumber State Natural River||Coastal Plain||34.5 miles (55.5 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||1989||Lumber River State Park is along portions of the adjacent river banks.|
|Lumber State Scenic River||Coastal Plain||52.0 miles (83.7 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||1989||Lumber River State Park is along portions of the adjacent river banks.|
|Lumber State Recreational River||Coastal Plain||15.5 miles (24.9 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||1989||Lumber River State Park is along portions of the adjacent river banks.|
|New State Scenic River||Mountains||26.5 miles (42.6 km)||0 acres (0 km2)||1975||New River State Park is along portions of the adjacent river banks.|
Some units have been formally removed from the NC State Park System and transferred to other agencies for management.
When the State Historic Site system was established in 1955, the system's first six components were historic properties transferred from the State Park System.
|Battle of Alamance||||Piedmont||Alamance||40 acres (0.16 km2)||1953||1955||Open||The park was transferred as one of the initial components of the State Historic Site system.|
|Boone's Cave State Park||||Piedmont||Davidson||110 acres (0.45 km2)||1971||2002||Open||Formerly managed by Morrow Mountain State Park, Boone's Cave is now a Davidson County Park.|
|Brunswick Town||||Coast||Brunswick||119 acres (0.48 km2)||1952||1955||Open||The park was transferred as one of the initial components of the State Historic Site system.|
|Cape Hatteras State Park||||Coast||Dare||1,200 acres (4.9 km2)||1935||1952||Open||Cape Hatteras State Park was located adjacent to Cape Hatteras Light, and it was transferred to the larger Cape Hatteras National Seashore.|
|Charles B. Aycock Birthplace||||Coastal Plain||Wayne||1 acre (0.0040 km2)||1951||1955||Open||The park was transferred as one of the initial components of the State Historic Site system.|
|Frutchey State Park||||Piedmont||Montgomery||53 acres (0.21 km2)||1937||1955||Open||The park was named after L. D. Frutchey, who donated the core property to the state, and it was later renamed "Town Creek State Park". The park was transferred as one of the initial components of the State Historic Site system, becoming known as Town Creek Indian Mound.|
|Hiwassee Lake State Park||Mountains||Cherokee||834 acres (3.38 km2)||1948||1952||The state leased land around Hiwassee Lake from the Tennessee Valley Authority for a few years.|
|James Iredell House||||Coastal Plain||Chowan||2 acres (0.0081 km2)||1951||1955||Open||The park was transferred as one of the initial components of the State Historic Site system.|
|Reedy Creek State Park||||Piedmont||Wake||1,234 acres (4.99 km2)||1950||1966||Open||Formed as a segregated park for black citizens, it was merged with William B. Umstead State Park during desegregation.|
|Rendezvous Mountain State Park||||Mountains||Wilkes||142 acres (0.57 km2)||1926||1956||Open||Transferred to the Division of Forestry.|
|Sandhills State Recreation Area||||Coastal Plain||Richmond||1939||1941||Open||Transferred to Wildlife Resources Commission. Now part of the Sandhills Game Land.|
|Tryon Palace||||Coastal Plain||Craven||2 acres (0.0081 km2)||1952||1955||Open||The park was transferred as one of the initial components of the State Historic Site system.|
|Waynesborough State Park||||Coastal Plain||Wayne||130 acres (0.53 km2)||1979||2003||Open||Formerly managed by Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, the park is now owned and managed by the Old Waynesborough Commission, a non-profit corporation.|
|† Size while the unit was part of the park system|
The state owns 420 acres and leases 266 acres from the Department of the Army. ... 75 additional acres are pending as an addition to the MOTSU lease[.]
Hanging Rock State Park is located at the eastern end of the isolated Sauratown Mountain range.
This "mountain" reaches a height of only 325 feet and is the eroded remnant of a larger mountain range.
Morrow is the tallest of the range's four major peaks and measures 936 feet.
Pilot Mountain, like the rocky escarpments in nearby Hanging Rock State Park, is a remnant of the ancient Sauratown Mountain range.
The General Assembly authorizes the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to add Bakers Lake State Natural Area in Bladen County to the State Parks System[.]
The Bald Head Island State Natural Area consists of a complex of barrier islands, salt marshes, bays, tidal creeks and estuarine islands located south of the state recreation area. (Figure I-2) The state natural area, a unit of the N.C. State Parks System, is under administration of staff from Fort Fisher State Recreation Area and includes: all of Bluff Island; about five miles of the beach strand of East Beach and the marshes behind it; and land at the actual point of Cape Fear on the southeastern tip of Bald Head Island.
The General Assembly authorizes the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to add the Mountains to Sea State Park Trail to the State Parks System as provided in G.S. 113-44.14(b).
The General Assembly authorizes the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to add the Roanoke River Paddle Trail in Halifax, Northampton, Bertie, Martin, and Washington Counties to the State Parks System as a State trail[.]
1.75 mi - Moderate
In 1955, seven historic properties were transferred from the state parks system to what was then the North Carolina Department of Archives and History. Thus began the system of state historic sites ...
Boone's Cave State Natural Area is deleted from the State Parks System pursuant to G.S. 113-44.14. The State may transfer this property to Davidson County for management as a park. The instrument transferring this property shall provide that the State retains a possibility of reverter and shall provide that, in the event that Davidson County ceases to manage the property as a park, the property shall revert to the State. The State may not otherwise sell or exchange the property.
Waynesborough State Park is deleted from the State Parks System pursuant to G.S. 113-44.14.